Book Review: Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

I will be the first to tell you: I love me some Shonda Rhimes. Olivia Pope is my spirit animal, and I would LOVE to spend a few hours with Miranda Bailey. And I’ll admit it: I even like Addison Montgomery, though I must acknowledge that Amelia Shepard and Charlotte King rival one another as my favorite characters from Private Practice.

Anyway, I’ve always thought that someone who created these characters from her imagination must be fantastic, and then Shonda Rhimes opened her book Year of Yes with these words:

“See, I am an in introvert. Deep. To the bone. My marrow is introvert marrow. My snot is introvert snot. Every cell in my body screams continuously at me with every word I type that writing this book is an unnatural act.”

Well, Shonda spoke to me from the very. first. page. In fact, I related to her so deeply from the outset that I was afraid the rest of the book wouldn’t stack up. Fortunately, it did.

Shonda Rhimes MemoirTruthfully, when I started reading Year of Yes I was going through a bit of a hard spot. I was in a rut, and I was feeling as if I was struggling to anything well. As mothers, we wear a lot of hats. When I started reading this book, I felt like they were all falling off my head. I was wearing none of them.

Through her use of humor and blunt writing, Rhimes helped pull me out of my funk. This non-fiction memoir is all about stepping outside of your comfort zone and trying something new. Shonda, my newfound friend, has inspired me to do that. She taught me to think about myself, about friendships, and about the things that are important to me in an entirely new way.

In case you aren’t familiar: Shonda Rhimes is the award-winning creator, writer and producer of Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and Private Practice. She’s also the executive producer for How To Get Away With Murder. The girl is busy. And she’s wildly successful. And yet, if you watched the video above you’ll know, Rhimes still didn’t feel so good about herself. She didn’t feel like she was living life.

Some days, I can totally relate to everything Rhimes wrote in this entire book. I’m not the same kind of busy as Shonda is, but to her, that doesn’t matter. She’s written the entire book with a down-to-earth, judgement-free air that is relatable to everyone. No, I’m not producing three TV shows a week while mothering three children. But still. There’s a truth in Rhime’s words that will resonate with every mother who has ever felt like she’s not enough. Shonda acknowledges that you don’t have to be a TV producer to feel that way, and she does so in such an honest, humble way. We all have these feelings, regardless of whether we’re stay at home mom’s or TV titans.

As I read Year of Yes, I kept thinking that I was reading my favorite chapter. Then I would get to the next chapter, and I changed my mind. The new chapter was definitely my favorite. And on and on it went, until I realized that I simply didn’t have a favorite chapter. I loved them all. Truly.

I’ve said before that I’m not a big book re-reader. This is one that I will definitely re-read time and again. Don’t skip it. Go get it from Amazon right now. It’s so worth it.

A side note: I really, really loved the physical size of this book. It’s smaller than your standard book, which made it super easy to fit it in my purse. Win!

Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own PersonYear of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person

The Year of Yes
Shonda Rhimes
Memoir, Self Help
Simon & Schuster
November 10, 2015

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